Each day potential guests visit your website to gather purchasing information. Some are looking for a single day, others looking for a corporate event. While many of your web visitors will end up buying online or at the gate, a great deal of web visitors never become guests.
Why is that?
There are many factors that prevent web visitors from buying tickets such as:
- They want to organize with more friends
- They want to check on the weather
- They want to look for a deal
- They are vacationing and are unsure what else is available
- They are local and want to decide later
- … or many other possible decisions that can interfere with their ticket purchase
In eCommerce, giants such as Amazon and Walmart have proven recovering web visitors and shortening the time gap between shopping and purchasing is one of the leading methods to gain online revenue. The reason these giants focus on visitor recovery, is the simple fact they do not want their potential customers to find an alternative purchase elsewhere. Furthermore, it is less expensive to earn a purchase from a web visitor that to acquire a brand new web visitor.
Amusement Parks, Zoos, and Aquariums have the same dilemma. The reality is web visitors can spend their money anywhere for entertainment. To prevent web visitors from finding an alternative option, rely on online recovery tactics to close the time between web visitors leaving the site and a ticket purchase.
7 Reasons to drive more ticket sales online:
- Higher CAPS. Guests that purchase online prior to visiting often spend more at the park on food, concessions, gaming, and general merchandise during their visit.
- Sub 100% Redemption. Like gift cards, not all guests who buy online will redeem their purchases. This enables you to sell more like an airline and oversell tickets to your park generating more revenue.
- It’s easier to upsell guests more reliably. When guests purchase at the gate, they’ll typically go with the lowest price offering to get through the gate. It’s up to your ticket sales counter to upsell and most of the time they don’t have a true incentive to offer. It’s been proven when guests buy online first – they spend more in parks because the cost is spread across 2 days instead of all in one day.
- Lower cost per transaction. The cost of selling at the gate includes the staffing costs and longer wait times to enter the park. Online, you have minimal hosting costs and transaction costs.
- Easier to predict visitors and staff accordingly. When Guests pre-purchase their tickets, you can better predict when visitors will arrive and decide if you need to run special promotions during slower times.
- Dynamic pricing. It is easier to execute online and removes the friction of surprise prices causing extending conversations at the Main Gate.
- Your competition isn’t other parks – A potential guest can do anything with their money and time. Your competition is the world around the guest. Learn more here: What a decade of spending teaches us about the growing importance of converting Guests online
Ticket Sales Conversion Rates
Today, if 100,000 visitors use your website, and 10% purchase tickets, what happens to the other 90% of web visitors? Undeniably, some of those visitors plan to buy at the gate, but what about others who are very interested but currently don’t have plans to visit?
eCommerce recovery is one way to create more low cost, high-quality, relevant advertising impressions to keep visitors thinking about your park and ultimately, earning the conversion.
Here’s how to segment and recover the 90% of guests who did not convert online.
Step 1: Segmentation
The key to a great customer recovery strategy that converts more dollars online starts with segmenting audiences. Segmenting audiences enables you to:
- Sell day tickets to 1st time browsers
- Season tickets to returning ticket holders
- Premium upgrades to guests looking to print their tickets
- Lead captures for guests browsing corporate events
To segment users, you will need technology that can track website behavior and update customer records inside of your website, email service provider, and advertising accounts simultaneously for optimum results.
Step 2: Onsite Personalization
Onsite personalization starts with being able to send messages to customers based on who they are, what they have done. Even something as simple as changing the banner on the website to show unique messages to 3 different audiences such as web visitors, day ticket holders, and season ticket holders enables your park to deliver unique information tailored to the guest.
A complete site redesign is not required. These little banner messages are used throughout eCommerce and are quite effective generating 10% more click through and conversion.
Exit intent messaging is also very effective. By showing animated pop messages as web visitors leave the page on desktop or from their mobile phone, you are much more likely to stop them, capture their attention, and either continue the session or earn their email.
Earning their email is important because it enables the next step in the process, triggered email. To earn a web visitors email, include a simple form and offer Facebook and Google opt-in options for higher conversion rates.
*An animated pop-alert is a great way to regain attention.
Step 3: Triggered Email Campaigns
Triggered email enables your park to send a few emails over 3 days to try and win back the guest. This has extremely low acquisition cost (less than a penny per email sent). More importantly, this process enables you to send key information the web visitor may have missed and provides an opportunity to tell a complete story in the person’s email inbox.
Now, your park can tell guests about dynamic priced days, the new attractions, or why upgrading to a meal plan will create a memorable experience and more fun at the park. It also provides an opportunity to send images of guests having a blast at your park and encourage web visitors to buy tickets. Fear of missing out is a major driver today of purchasing decisions.
Whether the web visitor leaves an email to be targeted or not, all guests that are showing high interest to buy should be in the retargeting pool
*Triggered email can remind people why they should buy now and can also support your dynamic pricing
Step 4: Retargeting
Every web visitor arrived to the site with a purpose. How much you spend advertising to them determines your return on marketing spend.
The biggest waste of advertising dollars is over spending on web visitors that did not have an intent to buy. For example, web visitors that spend less than 10 seconds on your site should not receive digital advertising. The likelihood they buy is just too low. Instead, those visitors should be subjected to more top of the funnel brand advertising that you do for everyone.
By omitting low-intent to buy users alone, you can save more than 20% of your online marketing dollars.
*Notice almost all transactions come from a small segment. These are the people to retarget
Add visitors into advertising segments that:
- Spent more time than the site average
- Visited attractions and calendar pages
- Revisited more than once over short time frame.
Characteristics like the aforementioned demonstrate tremendous intent to purchase. Will they ultimately buy a ticket at the gate? Perhaps. However spending retargeting budgets on these audiences will increase the likelihood they purchase online.
Finally, the key to not wasting advertising budgets, is to remove a visitor from an advertising segment after a customer has purchased a ticket and move them into the next funnel.
For example, once a customer has purchased a single day pass, but not a fast pass, the advertisements and triggered emails should be centered towards upgrading and the guest should be removed from the general single day ticket sales segment. This once again preserves budgets and increases ROI.
*Strategic focused supporting ads to earn conversions from the right buyers lifts conversion
When you shop on Amazon.com you will be presented with the same tactics. You will receive onsite messaging (if you fall into the right category), get triggered email, and see ads until you purchase. Amazon does this because it shortens the time between visiting and buying. You can use the same methods today. Don’t let web visitors leave and hope they buy a ticket. Recover them today.
If you have more questions about how this can be done for your park, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org